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I was born and brought up in Iran, a beautiful country full of history. I started taking photos at an early age of my life with a Lubitel, a Russian twin lenses camera. Most of my photos in those days were black and white. It was a very nice camera that my parents gave me when I was 15 years old.

I always loved to see images. I remember that I would spend time in the library for hours and hours looking at the different photos in Life Magazine, National Geographic and other photographic journals and books. Also I always loved nature, and the different patterns made in it. I remember because of my Entomology studies, I would spend hours in the laboratory looking into microscopes at those beautiful and perfect structures that God created in those different tiny flowers, plants, tiny nematods, animals and insects. Then after I finished university in Iran, I left to do on my M.Sc. in California, the Golden State. There I was witness to even more of the beauties that nature held in each different moments of time. I remember I was always walking and trying to absorb all the scenes in my mind and memory as well as recording them on film. I forgot to say that I received another precious gift from my parents. That was a Canon camera with a fixed lense (G-III QL17). Then after I finished my studies, I returned to Iran for work. I consider myself an artist photographer.

At present I have a lovely Minolta Dynax 7, Mamiya 7II with few lenses. I still love and adore nature and all aspects of it. As a result I love macro photography, landscape, architecture (old and new), and many other categories like artistic abstracts, travel, people, fashion, and photo journalism.

In February 2008, I was delighted to be one of the Amateur UK Photographers short-listed in the Sony World Photography Competition 2008.

I have a vast numbers of printed photos, slides and thousands of negatives which all are archived in many folders.

I love to share my observations through my photos with those people who love and appreciate.

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Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori

(viewed 4797 times)
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is a line from the Roman lyrical poet Horace's Odes (III.2.13). The line can be roughly translated into English as: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."
The poem from which the line comes exhorts Roman citizens to develop martial prowess such that the enemies of Rome, in particular the Parthians, will be too terrified to resist them. In John Conington's translation, the relevant passage reads:

To suffer hardness with good cheer,
In sternest school of warfare bred,
Our youth should learn; let steed and spear
Make him one day the Parthian's dread;
Cold skies, keen perils, brace his life.
Methinks I see from rampired town
Some battling tyrant's matron wife,
Some maiden, look in terror down,—
“Ah, my dear lord, untrain'd in war!
O tempt not the infuriate mood
Of that fell lion I see! from far
He plunges through a tide of blood!“
What joy, for fatherland to die!
Death's darts e'en flying feet o'ertake,
Nor spare a recreant chivalry,
A back that cowers, or loins that quake.

Stop The War Coalition's Speakers

(viewed 992 times)
A diplomatic, economic and military noose is being steadily but firmly tightened around the Islamic Republic of Iran which paves the way for a full scale Western military assault against the country headed by the US and UK and prodded by Israel.

The aim of the western war campaign is to once again re-colonise Iran after the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution, as the west did by the CIA-MI5 engineered coup of 1953 against the democratically elected government of Dr Mohammad Mossadegh who led the movement for the nationalization of oil industry. The Shah’s downfall inflicted a most serious blow to the interests and the domination of the US, UK and their allies in this most strategically vital region of the world with its oil and gas resources.

Initially the west backed the invasion of Iran by Iraq which included providing Saddam Hossein with chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers, Revolutionary Guards and civilians, but the eight year war failed to overthrow the Islamic Republic. Since 9/11 there has been a massive escalation of a multi-pronged diplomatic, military, economic and propaganda war campaign against Iran with open threats of military action and open call for a regime change.

In 2004, a US presidential directive authorized stockpiling and deployment of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. A covert military war against the Islamic Republic started as early as 2005 with US special forces making reconnaissance forays into the country over the border with Iraq. In 2008, the Bush Administration launched a $400 million budgeted covert operation against Iran by supporting the terrorist organizations of Jondollah, Pjak and MEK. This was followed in September 2010 by the “Joint unconventional warfare taskforce execute order” which authorizes US special forces to “prepare the environment [in Iran] for future offensive by the US or local forces”.

Since 2004, the west has taken up Iran’s civilian nuclear programme as a pretext to mobilize pressure and impose sanctions against the country. While the IAEA has consistently confirmed the non-diversion of nuclear material in Iran, where there is a fatwa by the Supreme leader against the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons and all WMDs, the west has alleged that Iran intends to build nuclear weapons and has already experimented with military studies. Not a single shred of evidence for this allegation has ever been found by the IAEA.

In October 2010, John Sawers, the head of MI6, publicly called for “intelligence-led operations to make it more difficult for countries like Iran to develop nuclear weapons”. Since then two Iranian scientists have been assassinated in Iran and most experts point their fingers at Mossad with support from the CIA and MI6.

The latest IAEA report confirmed once again the non-diversion of all declared nuclear material, which is the only mandate of the agency with respect to its safeguards agreement with Iran. The report also expressed concern, for the first time under the new head of the agency, Yukiya Amano, who has been exposed in Wikileaks documents as a staunch ally of the US against Iran, that Iran may have experimented with military research before 2004, and that these may have continued since. These allegations are all made on the basis of documents supplied to the agency by Israel (which is known to possess a massive nuclear arsenal refusing access by IAEA inspectors to its nuclear sites), and by the US (which is still in gross violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty for refusing to eliminate its massive nuclear arsenals).

The US, UK and Canada have used the IAEA report in the past two weeks to sanction all Iranian banks including the Central Bank of Iran, which amounts to economic warfare against Iran.

The hasty decision by the British government to expel all Iranian diplomats from the UK in reaction to the storming of the British embassy on the anniversary of the assassination of one of the two Iranian scientists by some students in Tehran, for which the government of Iran had immediately apologized, is another step to isolate the Islamic republic in preparation for a military attack.

The hawkish western attitude to Iran, based as it is on unfounded rumours about a nuclear weapons programme, resembles that of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. We must act now to stop the buildup of war with Iran and avert a full scale war which would be a catastrophe for the region and the whole world.

Stop the War Campaign Against Iran

Campaign Against Sanction & Military Intervention in Iran

Stop the War Coalition

George Galloway - Don't Attack Iran 5 Dec 2011

Tony Benn (Stop the War) - Don't Attack Iran 5 Dec 2011

Abbas Edalat (CASMII) - Don't Attack Iran 5 Dec 2011

Lindsey German (Stop the War) - Don't Attack Iran 5 Dec 2011

US-made crisis: countdown to Iran war?
If Israel fires single missile at Iran

'West unlikely to back Israel in Iran war'

Double Portraits

(viewed 1148 times)
Double Portraits

God Semar Sold by National Geographic !!

(viewed 1728 times)
I saw this handcrafted wood sculpture of Semar, the guardian spirit of Java in Natinal Geographic Store as a decor for a wealthy home owner for only £6,639.00.
I think it is a contradiction to the aim of Natinal Geographic Society to preseve our ancient past!
It is interesting to read the first paragraph of the description:
This handcrafted Mindy wood sculpture of an Indonesian wise man, Semar, dates from early 1900.
In the mythology, he is the guardian spirit of Java and is regarded by some as the most sacred figure of the Kotak.
He is said to be the god Sang Hyang Ismaya in human form.
It would make a unique, eyecatching addition to any space."

Semar is a character in Javanese mythology who frequently appears in wayang shadow plays. He is one of the punokawan (clowns), but is in fact divine and very wise. He is the dhanyang (guardian spirit) of Java, and is regarded by some as the most sacred figure of the kotak (wayang set). He is said to be the god Sang Hyang Ismaya in human form.
The name Semar is said to derive from the Javanese word samar ("dim, obscure, mysterious"). He is often referred to with the honorific, "Kyai Lurah Semar" ("the venerable chief").

My observation is very similar to this => Iranian Heritage - What is wrong with it?

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas Everyone
It's the month of Nikon v1 & Fujifilm X10,
Snow & Songs,
Carols & Joys,
Laughter & Love,
Wishing you merry Christmas Everyone specially YOU.

"Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If it weren't for Christmas
We'd all be Jewish."
~Benny Hill

Assalamu Alaik Ya Abalfazel Abbas

(viewed 1631 times)
Abbas Qamar-e-Bani Hashim (the Moon of the Hashimites), who was next only to the Holy Imam in charge of the Holy Imam's camp, after a very strenuous fight with the enemy at the river, got a sack of water but when the sack filled with water was placed before the thirsty children, the poor innocents not waiting till it was properly opened, and not knowing how to open the sack, rushed to it and fell upon it, one over the other, in the haste to at least cool their burning bodies.

But alas! The knot at the mouth of the sack gave way to the pressure and the whole water flowed away on the sand. It can be imagined what the feelings of despair and disappointment of the poor children and the helpless mothers would have been, and how disappointed the brave son of Imam Ali (pbuh), who got the water, would have felt at the loss of the water which he could get for the poor children and the inmates of the camp after so much of fight with the enemy guarding the banks of the river. Attempts to dig a well were also made but in vain, for instead of water, stones came out. The Holy Imam preached patience and fortitude to every one at each disappointment and torture, saying:

"Be you all cheerful and always surrender to the will of the All-Merciful Lord, for the end of all these trials is at hand and the water of Paradise awaited there to quench your thirst."

After the Zuhur prayers on the day of Ashura, one by one the brave companions of Imam Hussain fell in the battlefield. At last only Imam Hussain, Ali Akbar and Abbas were left. Imam Zainul Abideen (Sajjad) lay sick in his tent.

Several times Abbas asked Imam Hussain (pbuh) for permission to go and fight. Each time Imam Hussain (pbuh) would reply "Abbas, you are the captain of my army; you are my Alamdar - the Standard Bearer." Abbas would never argue with Imam Hussain (pbuh). His three brothers were killed in the battle fought after Zuhur. Imam Hussain (pbuh) could see the anger in Abbas's eyes. Imam Hussain (pbuh) knew that if he let Abbas go and fight; there would be a massacre in the enemy rank. Imam Hussain's object was to re-awaken Islam and not to score a victory on the battlefield.

Abalfazel Abbas

Ashura: the Everlasting Victory

(viewed 900 times)
The event of Ashura also supports this statement. It was a decision of Imam Hussain (pbuh), and he acted upon it. The culture of Ashura has remained a basis and principle for the culture of Shiism. A clear revision of this culture can bear a new message and a new insight. Therefore, if the event of Ashura were not a link in the chain of Islam, this chain would have been broken in two, and its followers would have fallen into a deep hole of ignorance and superstitions prevalent at the time. The rise of Imam Hussain (pbuh) has removed ignorance from Islam during the past and for the future; otherwise, Islam would have been altered many times during history.

As it was mentioned earlier, the uprising of Imam Hussain (pbuh) has not only affected the Shiite Islamic societies, but also people of other faiths. We will review some of the important social and individual effects of this movement in the following paragraphs.

I – Social Effects
The uprising of Imam Hussain (pbuh) and his companions caused a significant effect on the Islamic community of that time as well as those of later centuries. Some of the social effects are:

Removal of Ignorance:
In many narrations and scripts for pilgrimages (Ziarat), the most important social message of this movement is considered to be "fighting against ignorance in the society and people's unawareness." The tyrants of that time had done everything to diminish the limits between right and wrong, and Imam Hussain (pbuh) intended to redefine that for the society. This movement not only caused a general awareness in Islamic communities, but also enlightened the non-Muslim communities as well. For instance, some of the representatives of non-Muslim counties in Yazid's palace and some of the monks were deeply affected and eventually were guided on the right path. Indeed, the guidance which is a result of this uprising is still in place and leads many free men to the right path. Further, the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (pbuh) and his companions proves the trueness of Islam. The first goal of the movement of Ashura is to bring about awareness in people of reasonable thoughts and behaviors. Obviously if this movement were based exclusively on emotions and taking advantage of people's emotions, then it would not encourage people to refer to their intellect, and it would not lead to general awareness in society.

A General Uprising:
There were a number of uprisings after the movement of Ashura (both in that period of time and in later years) against oppression and tyranny of governments. Among them, the uprising of the people of Medina was one of the most important ones. Those who started the movement were not thinking about victory, but they decided to stand against tyranny as a social duty. There were other Islamic and non-Islamic movements in later years which had the teachings of Karbala in mind. Moreover, there were many religious and non-religious uprisings throughout history which had set their goal to fight against oppression. But most of them had affected their own period of time and not further; or they had taken advantage of people's emotions and were later forgotten. On the contrary, the event of Ashura was not limited to a few years after its taking place; it affected societies from the first day until the present time. Further, the motivation of this movement was divine, unlike other uprisings, and therefore, it calls upon people to rise up against oppression based on divine values and human principles.

An Uprising Only for the Sake of Allah Almighty (SWT) :
Obviously, the most important and ultimate effect of Imam Hussain's (PBUH) uprising, whether socially or individually, is only to act for the sake of Allah Almighty (SWT). Imam Hussain (PBUH) sacrificed all he had for Allah (SWT). He did not even consider victory at the battlefield as a condition to rise up against the oppressive government.

He told his companions and family on the night before the battle (the night of Ashura) that: "These people have animosity only for me; you can take advantage of the dark and leave. Know that whosoever stays here will be killed tomorrow." Furthermore, in the hardest condition of the day of Ashura, Imam Hussain (pbuh) said: "This is easy for me because Allah is watching me."

II – Individual Effects
The uprising of Imam Hussain (PBUH) affects every individual and constructs a practical path for social improvements. Some of the most important individual improvements are:

To practice the commands of Allah (SWT) and to abandon sin:
Whoever benefits from the event of Ashura in any way will receive a sensation of obedience toward Allah (SWT) and a unique pleasure in submission to His command. Furthermore, even the act of committing a sin will appear ugly and unpleasant to that individual. However, the extent to which an individual leaves his sinful behavior depends upon his individual capacity for understanding the event of Ashura and Imam Hussain's (pbuh) movement. This fact can be seen through individual experiences.

After so many years, one of the quotes of Hussain (pbuh) is still remembered – "If you do not believe in religion, at least be free in your world." This saying invites the whole world to practice freedom. The message of Hussain (pbuh) continues, and his followers reject submission to oppression. Freedom from enslavement by tyrants or any one except Allah (SWT) is one of the points of Imam Hussain's (pbuh) revolution that can be used to realize the true values of Islam in this day and time. Hence, those who are in love with Hussain (pbuh), no matter what religion they have, will try to free themselves from misfortune and obedience to any one except Allah (SWT) by following Hussain's (pbuh) path.

Patience and strength:
Shiite Muslims and others who think about the events of Ashura have learned from the patience of Imam Hussain (pbuh) such that in the most difficult situations of their lives, they remember their beloved leader. Therefore, they remain steadfast and patient in difficulties by remembering the difficulties Hussain (pbuh) faced:

- Surrounded in the hot desert without any water, and the river blocked for three consecutive days by the enemy.

- The killing of his six-month old infant son with an arrow.

- The killing and subsequent mutilation of his young son, who was the most similar in looks and moralities to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Hussain (pbuh) never complained and did not stop thanking and remembering Allah (SWT). This was the only way his broken heart could be healed.

Human demands for the teachings of Ashura are not only still on the rise after many centuries, but they are increasing at a fast pace due to the age of technology. One reason is that as humans quickly satisfy their materialistic needs, they feel the need to improve their spiritual capabilities as well. Such development can help them in their lives and take them closer to the goal and purpose of life, that is, perfection and becoming closer to Allah (SWT). The event of Ashura, nowadays, has such a critical responsibility. If the people of 1300 years ago could not fully understand what Hussain Ibn Ali (pbuh) had accomplished at that time, mankind today has more capability of understanding what Hussain's (pbuh) movement was all about. They have more to ponder over at their own level of concentration. By comprehending the philosophy of his movement, humans may be able to do something about the present spiritual problems, such as their routine life and apathy toward their Creator and the Resurrection Day.

Furthermore, one could contemplate the ceremonies held for the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and Ahl al-Bayt (pbut) (the household of the Prophet (pbuh) by Shiite communities from a different point of view.

The human body is totally dependent upon its soul. Unlike the materialistic part of the body, the soul is everlasting. That is why the spiritual connection is deeper and more sophisticated than the physical or materialistic connection. But when does a spiritual connection happen between two distinct individuals? The answer is when they have the same spiritual/divine values. The connection between Shiite Muslims and the household of the Prophet (pbuh) is a spiritual relationship, which is much deeper and stronger than any materialistic relationship. Therefore, the sad the tragic ceremonies that Shiite communities hold are absolutely logical, since their spiritual relationship continues to exist, even though the souls of those martyrs are not in this world. Allah (SWT) says: "Do not think of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him." (The Holy Quran, 3:169). Thus Shiites have a spiritual connection with their Imams (PBUH) even centuries after their martyrdom, since they are alive and a spiritual relationship is independent of time and place.

For the same reason Shiites cry and commemorate the martyrdom of their beloved Imams (pbut). There is an advantage to their tears. Crying is a good means for increasing the love and care for a beloved one. So, crying and weeping is a result of love and improves that love in its nature. This way the people who sincerely love Allah (SWT) and Ahl al-Bayt (pbut) can escalate their spiritual level and get closer to perfection. It is true that weeping is not the only way to improve spirituality, but there lies a hidden point in weeping. The presentation of real love and the proof of a claim of a lover is demonstrated when the lover forgets every other one but his beloved. Indeed weeping fulfills this mission in its best way; it also clears one's mirror of heart and prepares the heart for being influenced by the best humans in all of creation.

Finally, the remembrance of Ashura and Imam Hussain's (pbuh) movement should be undertaken with logic and wisdom at all times. There are many ideological and moral needs, which can be satisfied by understanding his movement, which can lead to improvement of the spiritual life of the human being, as well as avoid any possible superstitions.

Lectures on Ashura

Red & Green Flags

(viewed 822 times)
Think not of those who are slain in God’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. (3:169)

The events of Karbala reflect the collision of the good versus the evil, the virtuous versus the wicked, and the collision of Imam Hussain (the head of virtue) versus Yazid (the head of impiety).
Imam Hussain (pbuh) was a revolutionary person, a righteous man, the religious authority, the Imam of Muslim Ummah (nation). As the representative of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Imam Hussain’s main concern was to safeguard and protect Islam and guide fellow Muslims.

The mission of Imam Hussain (pbuh) is distinctly unique, political and religious revolutionary movement in the history of World. His was a tremendous undertaking which still reverberates throughout the Muslim nation. He has been a propelling force and a seminal element in events throughout Islamic history, particularly in the sphere of Jihad (the holy struggle in the way of Almighty God). Imam Hussain’s example has remained vividly alive for generations and centuries.
His uprising, movement and ideals still have a deep impact on the conscience and awareness of the Muslim empire.

Thus, Karbala proved to be a clash involving Islamic truths versus falsehood, belief versus disbelief, and the oppressed versus the oppressor, faith against brute force.
Karbala was about standing in the face of oppression, regardless no matter the cost. In Karbala, Imam Hussain the fifty seven year old second grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), sacrificed his totality and all he had, for one goal. This goal was to let the truth triumph over falsehood eventually, and he did that brilliantly.
His goal was to foil the plan that Muawiya had expertly developed for his son, Yazid, which was to establish a permanent Umayyads (Banu Umayya) ruler ship over the Muslim Ummah (even by sacrificing the Islamic principles), but doing it in the name of Islam. Brilliantly, Imam Hussain (pbuh) succeeded in foiling this plan and he exposed the disreputable nature of Umayyads though this was at the expense of his life.)

Events of Karbala